Garden Vegetables—More Healthy Than Vegetables From the Market?
Eating a juicy, ripe, red tomato from your backyard garden is healthy and rewarding, but you can get safe, healthy produce from the supermarket, too—not to mention convenience. You're sure that the peas, tomatoes, and zucchini you pick from your own garden are better than their cousins sitting on the shelves at the supermarket. And you're probably right.
Supermarket Produce: Not Homegrown, But Still NutritiousSupermarkets can't match a home garden for freshness.Day in and day out, supermarkets offer a variety of fruits and vegetables that most people could never dream of growing at home. Fruits and vegetables produced on an industrial scale are often bred for ease of harvest or stability during transportation rather than taste. Homegrown fruits and vegetables are not bound by these limitations.
Little Loss in Nutrients From Farm to SupermarketAlthough some nutrients—vitamin C in particular—are prone to breakdown during the journey from farm to table, the difference in nutrient content between homegrown and supermarket produce is generally small. However, nutrient value and taste are not the same. A food may have the same nutrient content, but it may not be as tasty to the consumer.
Pesticides Well-ControlledMany consumers are understandably nervous about the potential for toxic pesticide residues on commercially grown produce. While it's true that commercial growers use chemicals to protect crops from agricultural pests, both the pesticides and their application methods are tightly regulated and monitored. Farmers in every state are required by law to undergo training before receiving certification in pesticide application. Agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Food and Drug Administration have banned many pesticides and do random testing for residues on farm produce.
Genetic EngineeringThe issue of genetically engineered food is less clear and people are concerned about implications for health, safety, and the environment. Many processed foods that are already sold in supermarkets are made in part from genetically engineered soy, corn, canola and cotton, but these foods are generally regarded as safe. If you want to totally avoid the influence of genetic engineering, however, you'll have to buy fresh organic produce or grow your own.
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